Around the World in 180 Days

A journey across the Atlantic and into matrimony

Spot the Difference January 31, 2010

Filed under: daily life — rhet @ 1:00 pm

I keep meaning to (and attempting to) write posts about the wedding but after having devoted so much time and mental real estate to that one big day, I just haven’t been up for it.  So, in the meantime I’ll write a bit more about being an American in the UK.

Dogs are almost never on leashes here. When I first arrived, it really freaked me out. Like seeing a small child with no parent nearby makes you feel anxious, and concerned.   In the States a dog off its leash is either a possibly dangerous stray to avoid or has an irresponsible owner and should still be avoided. It shocked me that people would let their precious pets wander on busy streets without a leash or put themselves in a position of zero control should their dog go for someone.  However, I’ve come to realize that almost every dog I’ve seen has been the absolute picture of obedience. None have seemed wild or out of control or even remotely interested in harassing strangers. I’ve even seen a few sitting patiently outside of shops waiting for their owners!

I think this demonstrates a difference between the the laws in the US and the UK because here, they seemed to be designed to let people be responsible for their actions where in the US, its more policing people into correct behaviour.  This is also the sentiment behind letting people drink at a younger age in Europe.

It seems odd to me then that people are so obsessed with calling the UK communist for having an NHS when its the US that uses legislation to try and protect people from themselves.

 

Take A Walk on the Wild Side January 19, 2010

Filed under: travel,us — rhet @ 10:39 pm
Tags: , ,

reindeer!

Alright, so Christmas is long gone. But I think having just gotten married (yep, the girl is now the wife) is a good enough excuse for a late post. Here it goes!

As excited as I was to spend Christmas with the hubby for the first time and see the family traditions he had grown up with, I can’t say it was easy to spend the holidays away from my own family.  Especially since it seemed that each approach to the holiday could not be more different.  Where we have 20-30 people over for dinner, theirs is never more than 5. For me it was an eerily quiet and calm day.

One of their most cherished traditions turned out to be the most challenging part of the day for me, however. After the typical wrapping paper shred-fest, the gang gets their winter gear on and heads out on a walk through a reindeer park. Which sounds pretty awesome right? And it would have been if Manchester hadn’t been hammered with snow for the past 2 weeks which left all the pathways solid sheets of ice. That combined with the fact that I was the only one who had absolutely no decent shoes for that kind of weather made the experience dreadfully frustrating. Teeny..tiny..steps..for miles..on Christmas. Eek. Luckily, at the end of that walk was a pub!

After returning to the house, I was glad to have scheduled some Skype time with my fam to get my spirits back up. Hooray for the power of the internet!

My next initiation into British Christmas traditions was the Christmas cracker. Exhibit A:

Apparently what you do is, two people pull opposite ends of the thing and then it splits and makes a loud noise (hence calling it a cracker). Inside, one finds a random cheap toy (i got a miniature tape dispenser), a silly joke and a paper crown. You then wear said crown for the remainder of the day.  It made me feel like Max from Where the Wild Things Are but it was quite funny to see the hubby’s parents in pastel coloured paper crowns!

Both of our family’s follow dinner with a round of games. The only difference is that with the hubby’s family there is a lot more alcohol involved which is a great improvement on the tradition I say (though in recent years, the less conservative of my family members have been easing glasses of wine into the days festivities here and there).

Speaking of alcohol, when I have my own family and the hubby and I start making our own traditions..there will definitely be mulled wine involved! I’d heard of the stuff in the States but I’m typically not fond of red wine so I never tried it. But now after giving it a taste, I’ve decided that mulled wine is liquid Christmas Spirit. I’ve never felt so jolly as when I’ve had a few glasses of mulled wine.

And on that holly, jolly note, I hope you all enjoyed your (long gone) holidays as much as I did!

 

Last Leg January 8, 2010

Filed under: daily life,wholy matrimony — rhet @ 1:13 am

a fountain in the park by Park Circus covered in a fresh layer of snow

Well, the boy is off drinking one of his last single nights away while I’ve just said goodnight to my jetlagged family.

It’s been quite a hectic and stressful day so while I probably should be taking advantage of having an apartment to myself to get more wedding things done, I’m catching up on t he tv I’ve missed out on in the last couple days. Zoning out. Wedding brain off.  Deep relaxing sigh.

Hopefully I’ll be able to recap my British Christmas experience after all this craziness dies down!